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Strained relations

The ASF dispute is important because it impacts Oracle's fight with Google. The TCKs are not available under an open-source license, unlike the rest of Java. The ASF says the TCK field of use terms restrict how and where Harmony can be certified to run. That means Harmony can only run on desktops and can't run on other devices - such as phones, in the case of Android.

This month's vote passed by JCP members repeated Oracle's 2007 motion - also passed by the group - for the body to become a vendor-neutral and legal entity, with a simplified IP policy, with the group funded by members.

Frustration between Oracle and the JCP has been growing. The JCP held face-to-face meetings with Sun every three months and teleconferences took place each month. Since Oracle bought Sun, though, there's been one face-to-face meeting. Another was expected at OpenWorld/JavaOne, but it was canceled by Oracle. Executive committee members have also had to ask Oracle for teleconferences.

The Reg understands that Oracle has made it clear in no uncertain terms that no-one from the company will attend official face-to-face meetings with the executive committee.

Oracle has also set pointless tasks for JCP members. Six months ago, it asked members for examples of other industry groups a new JCP could be modeled on. Members responded, citing the W3C, OASIS and OMG, but Oracle responded with the reworked set of Sun proposals.

JCP members now feel they're seen as the ones staling the decision on their future, given Kurian's bold claims last week of having submitted proposals for their consideration.

With this drama playing out behind the scenes, Kurian laid Oracle's ambitious Java roadmap before 40,000 delegates of Oracle's OpenWorld and JavaOne conferences last week. Kurian claimed his plan was based on consultation with the community and had received positive feedback from developers. The goals is for JDK 7 in mid 2011 and JDK 8 in late 2012.

It now seems that those dates will be hard to meet.

There's no JSR for either, while Oracle has done nothing but alienate the JCP. Some hope JSRs might come out of an upcoming JCP meeting in Bonn, Germany.

Remember those developers Kurian claimed were positive about the roadmap? Based on what The Reg has learned, the only people supporting Oracle's Java plans are likely from Oracle and the former Sun who didn't get chopped or who didn't leave after the acquisition.

Oracle's one hope is that Sun dominated the spec leads for JSRs at the JCP. The presumption is given it's stepping into Sun's boots, it can again lead the changes it wants or - because of its position as chief Java steward - threaten the JCP as a final solution to getting its way.

Things have been deadlocked before on new versions of Java, and similar threats made - by Sun. On Java 6, the JCP withheld their vote on the grounds the dispute over TCK licensing with ASF had to be resolved. The impasse was only broken when Sun brought in senior executives who suggested the JCP might be dissolved should they continue to block progress on Java 6.

Ultimately, ASF and SpringSource - now owned by VMware - were the only ones who voted against Java Enterprise Edition 6 in March 2009, in a vote that proved a symbolic gesture.

Oracle declined to comment.®

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